This is a play (actually three plays) I regularly teach in my World Literature classes.  I don’t know how they have adapted it for a combined performance, but it looks interesting. It’s on Monday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Rosebud Theatre.

Monday, Dec. 6

The Oresteia,  a stage production by the Leonidas Loizides Theatrical Group adapted from the trilogy by Aeschylus. Received the United Nations Best Off-Broadway Theatrical Performance Award for 2010. Presented by the Hellenic Student Association and the Honors College. Reception follows. $15. 7 p.m. Rosebud Theatre, E.H. Hereford University Center. (from MavWire, Nov. 29, 2010)

KERA’s “Think” program had an interesting interview with Professor James Shapiro from Columbia University on the authorship controversy.

Here’s the link.

Shakespeare’s Sister

October 7th, 2009

The novelist Virginia Woolf speculated on the situation that would have arisen if Shakespeare’s sister, whom she names Judith, had Shakespeare’s genius and talent.  This speculation is contained within a broader context in which Woolf meditates on historical attitudes toward women (and women authors).  Here’s a link to it.

Welcome to the class blog! You may use the blog to ask questions, to discuss the works we read more fully, or just to talk about literature generally. If you come across something online, or you see a movie or a tv show that is somehow connected with the works we are reading, you can let me and your classmates know about it here.

By the way, as UT Arlington students, you can have your own personal blog. Login at . If you run into any problems, call the OIT Helpdesk at 817-272-2208.


Here are the poems for your last explication. Please choose one of them to write about:
“La Figlia Che Piange” [The Weeping Girl] The Latin epigraph is from Virgil’s Aeneid and means, “O virgin, how should I address you?” (16)
“Preludes” (9-10) [Yes, you must do all the parts.]
“The Journey of the Magi”  This poem is not in your text. I’ll give you a copy of it on Thursday.
I’m sorry it took me so long to email these to you. One of the things that delayed me was that I was really surprised at the amount of information (and occasionally misinformation) that was available on all these poems on the Internet. I would really prefer that you try to tackle these poems on your own. If you do use the Internet or a printed source, be sure to correctly acknowledge your borrowing. You must indicate all the information or ideas you get from the source individually and specifically; a general acknowledgment at the end of your explication is not sufficient. (For instance, if you mention Lancelot Andrewes or Baudelaire or Emily Hale, you better have an internal reference or a footnote very nearby.)
You have done very well in your in-class explications. You do not need to plagiarize to get a good grade, so PLEASE don’t.

Link to A Vision Site

November 3rd, 2008

Here’s the link to the web site dedicated to Yeats’s A Vision.  It probably won’t be of much help for your explications, but it explores a very interesting aspect of Yeats’s thought:

(This link will take you to the “Contents” page.  The Home page is .)

Yesterday in class I mentioned a poem by Robert Frost that had a theme similar to Yeats’s “Sorrow of Love,” though placing the arrival of the woman in Eden rather than in ancient Greece or Troy. Here it is:

Never Again Would Bird’s Song Be the Same

He would declare and could himself believe
That the birds there in all the garden round
From having heard the daylong voice of Eve
Had added to their own an oversound,
Her tone of meaning but without the words.
Admittedly an eloquence so soft
Could only have had an influence on birds
When call or laughter carried it aloft.
Be that as may be, she was in their song.
Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed
Had now persisted in the woods so long
That probably it never would be lost.
Never again would birds’ song be the same.
And to do that to birds was why she came.

Arcimboldo’s “Flora”

This is a painting called “Flora” by the Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Arcimboldo was an older contemporary of Shakespeare. If you are interested in knowing more about him and his work, here are a couple of links:

More Poems by Yeats to Read

October 26th, 2008

We’ll be talking about more poems by Yeats on Tuesday. I am listing some of the main ones we’ll be looking at, but if something comes up in our discussion to lead us to another poem, we’ll go there, too. Here’s the list:

“The Man Who Dreamed of Faeryland” (15), “The Song of the Wandering Aengus” (22), “Adam’s Curse” (28), “A Woman Homer Sung” (31), “Words” (32), “No Second Troy” (32), “September 1913″ (38), “Paudeen” (40), “To a Shade” (40), “The Wild Swans at Coole” (51), “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory” (52), “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” (55), “Ego Dominus Tuus” (68), “The Phases of the Moon” (71), “Solomon and the Witch” (81), “Easter 1916″ (83), “Demon and Beast” (88), “The Second Coming” (89), “Sailing to Byzantium” (102), “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen” (115), “Leda and the Swan” (121), “Among School Children” (121), “A Dialogue of Self and Soul” (130), “The Choice” (138), “Lapis Lazuli” (179), “Under Ben Bulben” (199),”The Statues” (205), and “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” (212).

Some of these are long, some very short. We’ll try to use them as a kind of framework to let us understand not only them but Yeats’s other poems as well.

Try to read as many as you can. Don’t worry if you don’t understand them all completely, but do remember to read the sentences in the poems.

Poems to read by Yeats

October 22nd, 2008

 For Yeats tomorrow (Thursday, Oct 23), please try to read (or at least browse around in) the first 50 pages which takes us through the volume of poems that Yeats entitled Responsibilities. Responsibilities was published in 1914, the year World War I began; it is generally seen as a kind of dividing line between Yeats the late nineteenth-century poet (one of “the last romantics” as he refers to himself in a later poem) and Yeats the modernist poet.

Yeats’s poem “The Sorrow of Love” was revised several times and presents a good example of some of the changes that Yeats’s poetry in general underwent:


Ms. Version (1891)

THE quarrel of the sparrows in the eaves,
The full round moon and the star-laden sky,
The song of the ever-singing leaves,
Had hushed away earth’s old and weary cry.

And then you came with those red mournful lips,
And with you came the whole of the world’s tears,
And all the sorrows of her labouring ships,
And all the burden of her million years.

And now the angry sparrows in the eaves,
The withered moon, the white stars in the sky,
The wearisome loud chanting of the leaves
Are shaken with earth’s old and weary cry.

First Printed Version, 1892

THE quarrel of the sparrows in the eaves,
The full round moon and the star-laden sky,
And the loud song of the ever-singing leaves,
Had hid away earth’s old and weary cry.

And then you came with those red mournful lips,
And with you came the whole of the world’s tears,
And all the sorrows of her labouring ships,
And all the burden of her myriad years.

And now the sparrows warring in the eaves,
The curd-pale moon, the white stars in the sky,
And the loud chaunting of the unquiet leaves
Are shaken with earth’s old and weary cry.

(The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th Ed., vol. 2, 2874)

Please compare these versions with the version of the poem on p. 13-14 of our text.  We’ll talk a little about the changes Yeats made in class.